Pentagon comptroller to serve as acting deputy defense secretary

Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan arrives for his first day in his new job at the Pentagon in Washington on Jan 2 2019

Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan arrives for his first day in his new job at the Pentagon in Washington on Jan 2 2019

But the retired Marine general actually resigned in protest over Trump's decision to pull USA troops from Syria.

But Trump was reportedly irked by news coverage of Mattis' impending departure that focused on his resignation letter in which he cited policy differences with the president and said Trump was abandoning United States allies.

Shanahan sat next to Trump during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Trump did not explain his complaint about Mattis' approach to the war.

"I don't want to be in Syria", Trump said on Wednesday, while adding that "I never said we're getting out tomorrow". Mattis and other Trump advisers tried unsuccessfully to persuade Trump to stay in Syria long enough to ensure that the Islamic State group, which has largely been defeated on the battlefield, can not regroup. 'As you know, President Obama fired him, and essentially so did I, ' Trump said before the start of a Cabinet meeting with acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan at his side.

The commander in chief said audits of Pentagon war spending must be "private" - an apparent reference to reports produced by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

'No words.' Officers mourn burned up Krispy Kreme truck
And the New York Police Department said they were ready to help, saying they were sending backup donuts. Soon enough, other police departments from around the USA responded to the incident, too.

Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, had been Mattis' deputy and it was unclear how long he will remain in the role of acting secretary.

Mattis had strongly held beliefs about maintaining and respecting allies, which he cited in his resignation letter to Trump.

One aide says Shanahan told the gathering that he's focused on the strategy written and implemented under Mattis that focuses on Russian Federation and China as "great power" competitors. It said what it described as a senior Defense Department official confirmed Webb's name had been circulating at the White House.

Shanahan announced that Pentagon comptroller David Norquist will perform the duties of deputy secretary of defence, the official said.

In that context, Shanahan said the Pentagon leaders should remember, "China, China, China", according to one official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss internal defense meetings and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Opposed to both the never-ending Middle Eastern conflict and the Iran nuclear deal, and hawkish on China, which he called "the greatest strategic threat that we have right now" during his short-lived primary run, Webb appears to be a good foreign policy fit for the Trump administration's new direction.

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